Tuesday Afternoon News, October 14
Branstad And Hatch Ready For Final Debate
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Republican Gov. Terry Branstad and Democratic challenger Jack Hatch will face off in their final debate in the race for Iowa governor.
Branstad and Hatch will appear in Sioux City on Tuesday night at the Orpheum Theatre. This is last of three debates in the race.
Polls have shown Branstad, who is running for a sixth non-consecutive term, with a sizable lead in the race. He has touted his recent achievements, including a commercial property tax cut and new education spending, as reasons for re-election.
Hatch has argued that he would do more for middle-class families, pledging to raise the minimum wage and create jobs.
Libertarian Candidate For U-S Senate Dies In Plane Crash
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - A Dubuque doctor who was running as a Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate has died in a plane crash.
The Dubuque County Sheriff's Office says Dr. Douglas Butzier (boot-ZEE'-ay) was the pilot of the plane that crashed around 11 p.m. Monday near Dubuque Regional Airport. He was the sole occupant of the aircraft.
Butzier worked at Mercy Medical Center-Dubuque. Jennifer Faley, a hospital spokeswoman, confirms Butzier was running for U.S. Senate against Democratic U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley and Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says the plane took off from Ankeny Regional Airport about an hour before the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.
FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) - Inmates in a minimum-security prison at the Iowa State Penitentiary complex are moving down the road to a unit originally designed for the state's most dangerous offenders.
More than 170 inmates from the John Bennett Unit in Fort Madison boarded buses Tuesday for a 400-yard move to the Clinical Care Unit, built in 2001 at a cost of $26 million to house maximum-security offenders with mental health and behavioral problems.
The Iowa Department of Corrections has relocated most of those inmates as part of a reorganization.
Prison officials are removing locks from the secure doors and adding a visiting room as they try to transform it into a minimum-security environment. They say John Bennett's building had structural concerns, and it made no sense to keep the newer building empty.
Supreme Court Rejects Defamation Lawsuit Over Campaign Ad
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court has declined to revive a defamation lawsuit that an Iowa Republican state senator filed against his Democratic opponent over a misleading campaign ad.
The justices on Tuesday let stand the Iowa Supreme Court's decision dismissing state Sen. Rick Bertrand's lawsuit.
Bertrand said Democrat Rick Mullin and the Iowa Democratic Party had libeled and slandered him in a TV ad run before the November 2010 election that Bertrand won. The ad said Bertrand's employer sold "a dangerous sleep drug to children."
A jury in 2012 agreed with Bertrand that the ad falsely suggested he personally sold the drug and awarded him $231,000 in damages.
The Iowa court ruled that the ad's false implication may have been negligence, but wasn't a "reckless disregard for the truth."
State Supreme Court To Listen To Arguments Regarding Traffic Cameras
STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments Wednesday that Sioux City's ordinance on traffic cameras is unconstitutional.
Michael Jacobsma challenged the ordinance after a traffic camera recorded his vehicle speeding in August 2012 and he was ticketed. He says the ordinance violates his rights by requiring him as the vehicle owner to disprove the citation rather than requiring prosecutors to prove his guilt.
The Supreme Court is set to hear the case starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Anderson Auditorium in the Walter Siebens Forum on the Buena Vista University campus in Storm Lake. The court conducts evening sessions in various Iowa cities so more people have chances to see the court's sessions.